Playlist 46 -- Let's go to the Replay

I watched intently when former Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell announced on Meet the Press that he was endorsing Barak Obama. What I found intriguing was the thought process that Gen. Powell went through. He's obviously good friends with Sen. McCain, and the decision did not come easy for the longtime Republican.

You may disagree with his decision, but I think we can all agree that every voter should go through such a critical thinking process before pulling the lever, or as we do in Florida, punch the chad.

I wonder if Gen. Powell's endorsement will have any effect on the election? A couple other quick thoughts ...

-- You all know my thoughts on Sarah Palin, but she sure was a good sport on a couple funny Saturday Night Live skits. BTW, I still think Tina Fey is way hotter than Caribou Barbie.

-- Congrats to the Tampa Bay Rays. They now have two days to rest. But what kind of impact will the Phillies' weeklong rest have, particularly for the notoriously slow-starting Ryan Howard?

And now onto this week's Playlist ...

Replay. Ken Grimwood.
H.G. Wells and his machine, be damned. If you read just one time-traveling novel, make it Grimwood's much beloved 1986 thriller. Much beloved, you ask? Just check out the nearly unaminous 300+ reviews the book gets on Amazon. Jeff Winston, a middle-aged radio journalist, suddenly dies of a heart attack, only to wake up in his college dorm room, more than 25 years younger. Once he figures out what has happened, he makes a few good bets and investments and goes about living his life again -- until he reaches that same age of his previous heart attack. And then he dies again, returning another time to his college years. Grimwood's tale pushes the reader to think about he would do, if he had the chance to live over again. And as the replays continue, the suspense continues. It's a fun, riveting, book. I can see why it gets all the love from those who have read it.

Firefox Add-Art Add-on.
Are you, like me, really sick of those annoying ads on Web sites, particularly that mortgage one where the on-screen characters do some annoying dance? Again. And again. If you have Mozilla Firefox as your Web browser (and you really should), try this interesting add-on that replaces all the ads on the page with art shows by contemporary artists. The art show changes every couple weeks.

Slow Wonder. A.C. Newman
I revisited this album from the New Pornographers' red-headed leader this past week and found it as hook-filled, quirky and fun as I remembered. It's smart, memorable indie pop-rock.

This Is It & I Am It & You Are It & So Is That & He Is It & She Is It & It Is It & That Is That. Marnie Stern.
I've probably spent more time trying to say the full title of this album than I have listening to it a second time. Stern's second album, earning rave reviews all over the place, is full of fast noise rock nuggets that show off her axe skills. Great drumming, too. I'm not in love with it all, but I can see the attraction. A must for fans of Sleater-Kinney.